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How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet

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When a wine spill lands in your carpet, it can either become a wine spot or a wine stain. Wine spots can be easily removed by cleaning the affected area with a spotter. Wine stains are more difficult to remove and occur when the red wine pigments/dyes become permanently bonded to the carpet fibers.

This article will demonstrate how professional carpet cleaners remove both wine spots and wine stains from carpet. The two methods demonstrated on this page will remove far more than just wine stains. If fact, with these methods, you will be able to remove nearly any kind of spot or stain from carpet.

Regardless of whether you are dealing with a wine spot or a wine stain, you should always start by cleaning the wine spill with a spotter. After cleaning the affected area with a spotter, if there is still a red colored stain in the carpet, proceed to the next step – stain removal.


- Regular Wine Stains (Wine Spots)

- Set-In Wine Stains

- Video instructions

How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet

Remove Red Wine Spots From Carpet 


As a first step a spotter should always be used to try and clean the wine out of the carpet. Wine contains a lot of sugars and dyes, and a good spot removal method should remove all or most of the sugars and dyes from the carpet. In fact, if a good spot removal method is used, most of the time stain removal (step 2) wont even be necessary. 

The most important item that you will need for spot removal is a good quality spotter. There are many kinds of store-bought carpet spotters that work reasonably well for this - Folex Instant Carpet Spot RemoverResolve, or Spot Shot are a few good options. These common spotters require the use of a white cloth to blot the wine spot/stain after applying the spotter. If you are using store bought spotters, follow the directions as indicated on the bottle.

Wine Stains in Carpet - Before


Alternatively, a homemade spotter can be used instead of a store bought spotter. I have a great homemade spotter recipe that I call DIY Spotter. Click here to learn how to make and use DIY Spotter, or watch the video below to learn how to make it!


If you are dealing with a large wine spill, I recommend using a mini wet/dry vacuum to suck, rinse and extract the wine and spotter solution from the carpet. Professional carpet cleaners use high powered truck mount wet vacuums to suck all the soils, spots, and stains out of your carpet. Your average person can easily copy this method for spot removal by simply using a mini wet/dry vacuum!

Wine Stains in Carpet - After

Remove Set-In Red Wine Stains From Carpet (Step-By-Step Guide)


Stain removal is the main topic of this article. Google searches and YouTube videos generally only show wine spot removal methods. What they don't tell you is that wine can also cause a permanent stain that is more difficult to remove. The stain removal method below is commonly used by professional carpet cleaners, but can be used by absolutely anyone!

If you have completed step 1 (spot removal), and were left with a permanent purple stain in your carpet, then this next step is an important one! If the wine stain has completely come out of the carpet, then this second step is not necessary and can be skipped.

Sometimes dyes from foods and beverages, like red wine, can bond to carpet fibers resulting in permanent discoloration of our carpet. Imagine millions of tiny microscopic red dye molecules clinging to the carpet fibers and refusing to let go. Essentially, these wine pigments have permanently dyed the carpet. 

Set-In Red Wine Stain


Sometimes pigments stick to the surface of the carpet, and sometimes they don't. This can depend on how old the stain is, type of carpet, if the carpet had a stain resistant coating, and even the temperature of the wine when it was spilt. 


So what is stain removal? Well, stain removal is the process of destroying pigments that are permanently stuck in the carpet.

Wine gets its red color from anthocyanin pigments, and these pigments have color thanks to their unique molecular shape. Stain removal is a chemical reaction that will break these pigment molecules into pieces. Once the pigments have been broken into pieces, they lose their color properties and the stain disappears!

For wine stain removal, you will need 6% hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a color safe bleach and is safe to use on colored carpets.


Where can I buy 6% hydrogen peroxide? You are probably familiar with the 3% hydrogen peroxide that you can buy from the drug store. 6% is similar to 3%, however, it is twice as concentrated, and works significantly better for stain removal purposes. I recommend using 6% salon grade hydrogen peroxide, also known as 20 Volume Clear Developer.


In the demo below, household ammonia will be used in tandem with hydrogen peroxide. Household ammonia cleaner has a high pH and it will boost the hydrogen peroxide performance. 


1) 6% Hydrogen Peroxide / 20 Volume Clear Developer (USA, UK, CAN)

2) Household Ammonia Cleaner (USA, UK, CAN)

3) 2 Spray Bottles (USA, UK, CAN)

How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet - Step 1

Step 1 - Using a spray bottle, saturate the stained area with 6% hydrogen peroxide

How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet - Step 2

Step 2 - Fill a second spray bottle with household ammonia cleaner. Add a few sprays of household ammonia cleaner to the stained area. Household ammonia cleaner has a strong odor. The odor will go away fairly quickly as the ammonia evaporates and escapes to the atmosphere. If the odor is at all irritating to you, leave the room after adding the ammonia to the carpet. This method typically does not work without household ammonia, as the ammonia activates the hydrogen peroxide. 

How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet - Step 3

Step 3 - Allow the hydrogen peroxide and ammonia to dwell for at least 8 hours, or until the stain disappears. 

How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet - Step 4

Step 4 - This is what the wine stain looks like after 8 hours. You can see that the wine pigments that had bonded to the carpet fibers have started to break down. If the stain persists, dry the carpet with a towel, and repeat steps 1 to 3. 

How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet - Step 5

Step 5 - When the stain has completely vanished, dry the carpet with a white towel and that is it! Both hydrogen peroxide and household ammonia will break down into gasses and escape to the atmosphere, so there will be zero chemical residue left in your carpet after using this method!

How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Carpet - Step 6

Step 6 (Optional) - Make sure you check out the video instructions below for a full demo of wine spot and stain removal!

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Remove Wine Stains From Carpet Video Instructions


This video will demonstrate how to remove red wine spots or set-in red wine stains from carpet. 

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